The U.S. government requires that all crane operators be certified to operate the equipment. This means that they are well-versed in safety and technical information about the equipment they are using. If you're looking to enter into a career as a crane operator, you may not know where to begin preparing for your career. We can help.
In order to qualify to be certified as a crane operator in the United States, an individual must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or the equivalent. A prospective crane operator must also successfully complete an accredited course of study in crane operation and safety before applying to take the tests. Candidates must also pass a physical exam and meet the NACCCO's minimum height and maximim weight requirements.
Taking the certification test
Certification for crane operators is administered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NACCCO). This agency administers the test and issues certificates to those who pass the test. The NACCCO test is made up of two parts--a written and a practical test.The written portion of the test may be taken in person or via computer at one of more than 300 locations around the U.S.
The practical portion of the certification test is designed to show a candidate's knowledge of how to operate the equipment. A candidate must pass the written test before scheduling the practical test.
Certificates are valid for five years. In order to retain your certification, you must complete continuing education classes on new safety procedures and equipment as well as pass a recertification exam.
What to expect as a crane operator
Once you are certified as a crane operator, you can expect a long and financially-rewarding career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a crane operator in the United States can expect to make an average annual salary of $51,650, although your exact salary will depend on your experience, where you live and whether you work for a small or large contractor. In addition, the BLS anticipates more than 43,000 new crane operators will be needed in the U.S. by 2010, making this one of the fastest growing occupations in the country.
Working as a crane operator is steady, well-paid work. Set yourself up for success by enrolling in an NACCCO-approved training class and studying the free test information available from NACCCO. For more information, contact companies like Craneology INC.